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How Many Miles Should I Run a Day? Recommended Day and Week Mileage
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How Many Miles Should I Run a Day? Recommended Day and Week Mileage

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on September 26, 2022
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9 min

Running is a great way to stay in shape and build your endurance level. However, it can be confusing figuring out how many miles to cover every day, but this article will serve as a detailed guide.

how many miles should i run a day

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Having a running routine is perfect for those who want to keep fit or are interested in weight loss. Running is very efficient as it helps increase your body’s blood flow and even improve your cardiovascular health and cognitive function.

By running regularly, you can also increase your brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels.

However, when it comes to mileage, there’s no fixed daily mileage you need to hit, as every individual is different, and what works for an experienced runner might not result in any visible gain for you.

In this article, we’ll take you through a runner’s world and answer every question you might have. So, if you’re thinking, “how many miles should I run a day?” then keep reading.

How Many Miles Should I Run?

While running is a great way to build endurance, you are setting yourself up to be injury-prone when you do too much, especially if you begin with long distances. There’s no “one size fits it all” when it comes to the number of miles because it’s all about the minutes you spend on your feet.

Truly, running has its perks, but when you overdo it, you might put too much pressure on your body.

Certain factors that affect your total weekly mileage include:

Fitness level

One major factor that can have an impact on your mileage goals is your fitness level, and this applies to experienced runners as well.

But note that your fitness level doesn’t refer to how well of a runner you are. For instance, you might be new to running, but if you do regular exercises like weight lifting, cardio, or swimming, you’ll be able to run more miles than an average runner.

However, as an experienced runner, you can run many miles per week, but be sure you aren’t totally fatigued when you are done. If you notice your running time is putting too much pressure on your body, then consider toning it down.

To keep making progress, you need to continuously endure past your limits, but make sure you have your rest days.

On that note, new runners are advised to run two miles per day for a start and gradually increase their mileage by 10% every new week. Keep at it until you are successfully running about 30 miles a week.

Age

When it comes to your cardiovascular health, age should be prioritized. You can’t handle high-quality weekly mileage as you get older, and that’s because your body is getting weaker.

It’s advisable to tone down your training volume and run for shorter distances so you don’t put unnecessary physical stress on your body.

A study showed that older runners who are over 40 years slowed down by 4–6 seconds per mile per year. Many runners hit their fastest speed at the age of 18 to 30.

Running ability

The duration of time you spend on your feet plays an important role in how many miles you run every day. Everyone’s running goals are different, and so are their abilities.

Just because your friend is hitting 80 miles per week doesn’t mean you have the strength to achieve that. Only you understand the right mileage for your body, so when you get to that magic number, stop running!

The truth is, your body doesn’t know how many miles you run in a day but the number of minutes you spend running. Typically, advanced runners have a longer endurance level than beginner runners.

You can increase your running ability as you build mileage, but ensure you start gradually to avoid injury. Your mileage increases with frequent training, but you can also boost your speed using the Joggo supplement.

With the Joggo supplement, you don’t need to worry about any adverse effects because it is natural and sugar-free.

How Many Miles Should People Run According to Their Running Ability?

So many questions about “how many miles should I run a day?” but the answer isn’t a definite one. How much time you spend on your feet is much more important than your daily mileage.

When you understand your body’s sweet spot, and when to take adequate rest, you’ll realize that running has nothing to do with miles.

Based on your running ability, you’ll know how many miles a day your body can handle; if you feel you can’t do it alone, getting a running coach won’t be a bad idea.

You may be wondering what level of runner you are based on your running ability, keep reading to find out.

Beginner runners

To be a beginner runner, your fitness routine must include running, and you need to have been at it regularly for at least a month.

For beginners, you need to start at a pace you are totally fine with before proceeding to set a realistic goal. To get comfortable, you need to start slowly and take your off days seriously to prevent overuse injuries.

As a beginner, begin with 2 to 4 miles per week, and in three weeks, you can increase your mileage. Using the 10% rule helps your body to properly adjust to a training plan.

The 10% rule states that you should only increase your weekly mileage by 10%, and by the fourth week, you can decrease by 10%, then repeat the process again. However, this rule is general and brings up a lot of questions.

So, as a beginner, it’s advisable to run consistently at the same mileage until your body gets used to the idea of running. Increase your mileage after every 2–3 weeks, depending on how your body adjusts to the current mileage.

For instance, if you run four days every week for 2 miles, you can always add 2 more miles to your schedule. It may seem like a lot, but it’s entirely safe as long as your previous volume was perfect for you.

If you have an injury history, you’ll need to work with lower mileage than normal, but that doesn’t mean you won’t achieve visible perks in the long run. You can even start with 1 mile of combined running and walking and build it up to 2 miles in about three or four weeks.

Also, you need to include a warm-up session in your training plans as this helps reduce your injury risk. For your warm-up, you can stick to foam rolling.

Novice runners

To qualify as a novice runner, you need to have been consistently running for at least six months. Now you may be asking, “how many miles should I run a day without burning out”? To avoid tiring your muscles and developing injuries, limit your running to 10 miles per week.

You can decide to run three times per day and increase it to four times if you feel you have built your endurance to that level.

For novice runners, it’s important to put duration over distance, as this is the first step to preventing injury.

Many runners push their bodies more than they should, and this is why you might need a running coach to help you.

Intermediate runners

If you have incorporated running into your free time for a few years now, and you have an average understanding of training, then you are most likely an intermediate runner.

Intermediate runners are those who have made running a part of their lifestyle for at least two years. You are in between the advanced and beginner transitioning phase, and you most likely have tried various types of workouts like track sessions and fartlek runs.

Intermediate runners understand their bodies and have a bigger picture of recovery time. Your rest day is important, and if you don’t pay attention to that, you’ll suffer injuries along the way.

You need to run 15 to 25 miles every week and ensure your training day is more than four times a week.

As an intermediate runner, you should have run many races at distances between 5k all the way to the half-marathon.

However, there’s still room for improvement, and you can decide to increase your daily mileage with consistent practice. As an intermediate runner, you have untapped potential, and you can get that with consistent hard work toward defined goals.

Advanced runners

To be an advanced runner, you need to have been running for over five years. As a matter of fact, you can even qualify as a running coach because you have a comprehensive knowledge of running, cross-training, and fitness training.

As an advanced runner, you are very close to achieving your natural genetic potential. Most runners in this category have had their first marathon; however, that’s not a criterion to be an advanced runner.

The major difference between you as an advanced runner and an intermediate runner is that you have a better understanding of your body’s threshold. You are well experienced in how many miles your body can tolerate and how to run through the discomfort.

Running can be classified as a strength training workout, but with an advanced runner, it might take more effort to see visible changes in their lean muscle mass.

If you have the time, as an advanced runner, you can run for six days per week, and your running mileage can be 70 miles upward. However, make sure your body can handle the high number of miles a day you engage in.

For those older, adding more rest days might do you a lot of good and even improve your health in the long run.

Elite runners

Elite runners are also called ultra runners, and they are people who have been in competitive training for over 5 years. With elite runners, the question of “how many miles should I run a day” rarely pops up because they fully understand what their body can handle and what it can’t.

Becoming an elite runner isn’t an easy task, it takes years of practice, training, and dedication. Some ultra runners even go as far as pursuing their goal of becoming a USATF certified running coach.

Elite runners on a running streak can run for seven days at 80 miles per week, and this is advisable for only those with Olympic ambitions and zero back injuries. Elite runners usually handle this load because they’ll feel way worse in the long run when they miss a day of training.

However, it’s advisable to have a day off before your race day so you can give your body enough time to recover.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good distance to run every day?

There’s no set distance to how many miles a day you should engage in running, it’s all about the minutes. As a beginner runner, you can run anywhere from 2 to 4 miles per day.

How many miles can you run in an hour?

For an average runner, who wants a casual fast run, they can cover 10 miles per hour. As expected, everyone’s training strength is different, and some people might be able to run for only 2 miles.

How many miles should I run a day to lose weight?

For those who are training with the intention of weight loss, it’s possible to lose one pound of fat when you run for 40 miles. So, if you are interested in losing weight, you can run 2 miles every four days for a week, and if you feel up to it, you can increase it to 4 miles. Running helps burn calories, and that’s what you need for your weight loss journey.

A Word From Our Coach

When it comes to running, you need to pay attention to your body and your fitness level. There’s zero fun in sustaining an injury after every workout, so it’s best to run at a mileage that’s perfect for your body.

Running is an enjoyable sport, plus a great investment in your body, so it’s important to get it right. However, you need to understand that the number of mileage you cover every week is dependent on different factors, and there isn’t a general rule that stipulates what should be and what shouldn’t.

Remember, don’t overly push yourself past your threshold; set realistic milestones and accomplish them gradually.

Conclusion

Running is an interesting workout, especially when you are training together with friends or family members.

Choose how many miles you can run based on your strength, endurance, and running ability, and your body will thank you.

Lastly, make sure you take your warm-up and off days seriously; plus, allow your body time to always recover.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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